GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) - Grand Teton National Park spent about $50,000 rescuing 16 injured climbers and recovering the body of another after a thunderstorm on Grand Teton mountain. Park spokeswoman Jackie Skaggs said Friday the costs included two helicopters, staff time and other expenses.
Three separate parties climbing above 13,000 feet called for help when a thunderstorm pounded the exposed mountaintop with lightning at midday Wednesday. A climber from Iowa, 21-year-old Brandon Oldenkamp, fell to his death during the storm. Skaggs says the park will apply for reimbursement from a National Park Service account for search and rescue.
She says the park is still investigating the circumstances of Oldenkamp's fall. Teton County Coroner Bob Campbell says Oldenkamp's cause of death hasn't been determined.